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World News

Christian advocate "optimistic" about Aung San Suu Kyi landslide in Myanmar

Myanmar's opposition party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, has won all of the first 12 parliamentary seats declared in the country's first free general election in 25 years.

Andy Dipper, Chief Operating Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide was speaking after The National League of Democracy said it had won around 70% of the votes counted, meaning the party will dominate parliament.

Mr Dipper told Premier's News Hour that Aung San Suu Kyi has been waiting for this day for a very long time: "She knows of course what happened in 1990, when it was very clear that the people had stood and they'd voted and said 'we want democracy'.

"But the ruling military said no, you are not going to have any of that.

"And she has been waiting in the wings all these last 25 years."

But he also noted that she is unable to take up the leadership position (because the constitution blocks anyone with foreign children from holding the post) and commented that the military are automatically entitled to 25% of the seats in parliament.

However he called it a victory nonetheless: "Many of the parties and candidates that are standing in these elections are saying 'well, I guess something is better than nothing', and they are hopeful that that will be sufficient.

"But the military do to retain the ultimate right to kick out those elected individuals if they so wish.

"At the moment we are trying to be optimistic because we see lots of positive moves.

"But there has to be constitutional reform because Burma [the former name for Myanmar] has to come into the 21st Century."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Andy Dipper here:

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